Fire risk assessment

Property:        Barn and Cider cottages, Westover Farm, Wootton Fitzpaine, Bridport, Dorset, DT6 6NE

Assessors:       Helen and Andrew Snook (owners)

Date of assessment: October 2023

Step 1 – Identify Fire Hazards and Fire Risks

  1. Sources of ignition

a) Electrical – wiring and appliances

These are checked regularly and tested regularly in accordance with the requirements. Electrical sockets are not overloaded. Appliances are used in accordance with instructions.

b) Cooking – especially deep-fat frying

No deep fat fryer is provided. The cooker and hob are deep cleaned and checked every changeover. The hob is a newly fitted induction hob.

c) Smoking

Smoking is strictly prohibited in the cottages and there is a notice in the information sheet advising of this and that smoking should only be done away from the cottages.

d) Candles/incense/burners

No candles are provided and guests are asked not to use these or other such items (incense etc) in the cottages on the notice board

e) Heaters and boilers

The oil boiler is situated externally. No mobile heaters or electric heaters are provided to guests.

f) Open fires

Each cottage contains a log burning stove.  There is a notice to state that after lighting, ensure the air intakes are closed to avoid overheating. Carbon monoxide alarms are provided in each cottage and have been replaced in October 2023 with new 7 year models.

h) Elements of structure

Conventional construction.  External masonry walls.  Some studwork interior walls.  Tiled roof

i) Furniture and furnishings

Conventional furnishings with safe type padding.

j) Domestic waste

Metal interior bins.  Rubbish bins outside

k) Other items – e.g. petrol for lawnmowers, cleaning materials etc


1.2. Fuel present

The only fuel stored is a small basket of logs.  Oil tank is outside away from properties.

1.3. Activities that might cause a fire, including work processes/procedures etc.

Guests are advised to use the log burner with care and if unsure how to, to ask for advice (guidance is provided)

Guests are asked not to smoke on the premises

Guests are asked not to use candles on the premises

Step 2 – Identify Persons at Risk

2.1 Number of guests

Maximum of 8 per cottage (6 in Cider). Guests rent the holiday let for days/weeks at a time and are expected to use it as they would their own home. Guests could have mobility problems or be small children who may therefore face different challenges in exiting a property in the event of fire

2.2. Number of staff/employees

None- not applicable

Step 3 – Evaluate, remove, reduce and protect from the risks

3.1 Evaluate the risk of a fire occurring:

  • Low risk of a fire occurring from cooking equipment- no fryers are provided, cookers and hobs are thoroughly cleaned and checked at every changeover and electrics tested regularly;
  • Low risk of a fire occurring from the use of a log burner- careless use could potentially lead to fire escaping but this is unlikely. Guests are advised to only use with doors shut, not to allow to burn too hot and if it does, to reduce all air intake and allow to die down.
  • Low risk of fire occurring from guests not following advice ie smoking indoors and/or use of candles indoors. Guests are informed not to smoke or use candles on the premises.
  • Low risk of fire occurring from poor maintenance of electrical equipment. Testing is carried out at the required intervals. Appliances are checked regularly, maintained and cleaned at every changeover. Electrical sockets are not overloaded.
  • Low risk of fire occurring from deliberate action ie arson. The cottages are in a rural, peaceful location. Bins are kept away from the properties. Risk of arson deemed very low.

3.2 Evaluate the risk to people from a fire starting in the premises

  • A fire in the kitchen or from the log burner could spread to the upper parts of the house and/or block/hamper exits

3.3 Remove and reduce the hazards that may cause fire

It is not possible to remove the cooker, hob or log burner as these are integral parts of the property and the guest experience. The following steps are undertaken to reduce the risks arising from these ignition sources.

Remove or reduce sources of ignition:

  • The cottages are strictly non-smoking, guests are asked to smoke outside away from the buildings
  • No freestanding or electrical heaters are provided
  • Programme of regular and thorough cleaning of cookers, hob etc at changeovers
  • Programme of regular testing of fire alarm and smoke alarm systems
  • Programme of electrical testing carried out at required intervals.
  • Cooker, hob and microwave checked to ensure working correctly
  • Electrical equipment is installed, used, maintained and protected in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Electrical sockets are not overloaded
  • Log burner is swept regularly (at least annually) and tested to ensure meeting all legal requirements
  • Carbon monoxide alarm installed nearby to the log burner
  • Instructions provided for use of log burner. Guests instructed not to allow to run too hot. Only a small basket of logs are provided to guests inside the property. Firelighters and matches are contained in a tin box
  • No fryers or similar are provided for the cooker. Guests are expected to use the hob and cooker as they would in their own homes
  • Use of candles inside is prohibited
  • No sources of gas on the premises

Remove or reduce sources of fuel:

  • Potentially combustible items ie soft furniture meet required fire retardant regulations
  • No tumble dryer is provided, any washing is expected to be dried outside on the airer provided
  • Very few combustible products are provided. A minimal selection of cleaning products are kept in the bathrooms and under the sink away from ignition sources. The majority of cleaning products are kept in a locked shed away from the properties
  • Guests are asked to empty all bins into the outside bins which are kept away from the properties

Remove or reduce sources of oxygen

  • The cottages are small holiday cottages, all doors and windows are required for ventilation and may be open at any given time but are unlikely to significantly add to the risk of fire spreading. Bedroom doors are approved 30 minute fire doors

3.4 Remove and reduce the risks to people from a fire

  • Guests are provided with torches in the bedside tables and under the stairs to ensure lighting to escape doors always available
  • There is sensor lighting (low level, plug in but also battery powered) in the landings and open plan downstairs to ensure lighting to exits at all times even in the event of power failure
  • Both front and back doors are fitted with thumb turn latches to allow exit without a key
  • Bedroom doors are 30 minute fire doors
  • All soft furniture provided is sufficiently fire retardant meeting specifications
  • Fire and smoke alarms are wired in and tested regularly
  • Fire extinguisher and blanket are provided in the kitchen
  • Distance to exit is less than 18 metres from all bedrooms

Open plan downstairs

What compensatory measures have we included to reflect that the staircase is an accommodation staircase and partially exposed to the open plan downstairs area:

  • Lighting has been provided in the landings and open plan areas which are sensor monitored and will work in the event of a power failure. Torches are provided in all bedside tables and tested regularly to ensure guests always have a means of lighting their route downstairs to the exit.
  • The furnishings in the open plan area are all made from fire retardant materials
  • Cookers and hobs are maintained well and tested regularly, the hobs are induction hobs. We do not provide any cooking equipment to facilitate deep fat frying and do not provide cooking oils. Guests will therefore be cooking as they would at home and taking all usual reasonable caution.
  • All electrical appliances and electric points are tested regularly in accordance with the requirements;
  • Detailed information and fire safety guidance is provided to guests. The properties are strictly non smoking and the use of candles etc is not permitted- this is clear to the guests from the information provided in the kitchen.
  • We supply a fire extinguisher and fire blanket in the kitchen areas for use in an emergency.
  • The single direction travel distance from the bedrooms to the closest point of exit (be that back or front door) is no more than 18 metres.
  • All doors to bedrooms are new 30 minute fire doors fitted to the most recent fire specifications with 3 hinges and fire appropriate handles.
  • Escape doors (both front and back) are fitted with up to date thumb turn locks which can easily be opened from the inside.
  • These are small cottages with easy access to both front and back doors. The maximum number of people sleeping in each unit at any given time is 6 (in Cider cottage) to 8 (Barn cottage).
  • Fire blankets are provided upstairs and in the kitchen which can be wrapped around guests to provide some protection in the event of needing to exit in a fire